Jays' Navarro recounts wife's brush with death

Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro wears the No. 30 in honour of his wife, Sherley, who survived a...

Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro wears the No. 30 in honour of his wife, Sherley, who survived a life-threatening brain aneurysm. (David Manning/USA Today Sports)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:34 PM ET

The ride from the Radisson Bay Harbour Hotel to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa normally takes 40 minutes.

“It seemed like three or four hours even though it felt like we were driving at 5,000 miles per hour,” said Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro in an empty clubhouse on Saturday morning.

The date of ride — Sept. 27, 2003 — is easy to remember.

It was the couple’s first anniversary.

Navarro, then a New York Yankees minor-leaguer, was in the passenger seat of an ambulance, one paramedic driving, the other in back attending to Navarro’s wife, Sherley, then 22, who collapsed at Clearwater hotel.

He was 19, and the Venezuelan’s English was not where it is today.

“All of a sudden the guy in back yelled, ‘Don’t do this to me Sherley! Sherley don’t do this to me!,’” recalled Navarro. “The driver told me not to turn around. I said, ‘I’ll turn around if I want, that’s my wife.’ Then they started speaking in codes which I didn’t understand.”


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